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Malloy, Merrill Call For Preserving Access To Elections [Poll]

"Voting is a great responsibility, and an enormous opportunity, and, following in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we have an obligation to make every effort to preserve citizens’ access to the polls.”

 

In commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman joined Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, and Common Cause Board Chair Dr. Bilal Sekou to call for preserving voting rights and expanding access to voter registration.

To make registration more efficient and create a more accurate voter file, proposed legislation would create web-based voter registration for Connecticut citizens who have a valid and current driver’s license; allow for Election Day registration to improve voter turnout; and call for absentee ballots to be governed by statute, which would give legislators the ability to adopt laws that address voters who cannot get to polling locations on Election Day. The legislation would also increase penalties on any effort to block or impede voter access. 

“Today, I can think of no better statement to make in memory of Dr. King than to expand and assure access to voting rights, given everything he stood and worked so hard for,” said Governor Malloy, in a prepared statement.   “While some states are suppressing voter turnout, we are moving in the opposite direction and working to improve access to elections and align our electoral system with 21st century technology. Voting is a great responsibility, and an enormous opportunity, and, following in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we have an obligation to make every effort to preserve citizens’ access to the polls.”

“Voting is power, and these reforms will give more Connecticut residents the power to decide who they want to represent them in government,” said Lt. Governor Wyman. “That means more of our residents will have a voice in how their tax dollars are spent, what kind of health care system we have, how their children are educated, and so many other aspects of their lives. This is a proposal that will allow their voices to be heard in a place where it truly matters – the voting booth – and the importance of that cannot be overstated.”

“In the spirit of Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., we have a tremendous opportunity this year to expand access to the ballot box to the many citizens of our state who face barriers to voting because their busy working lives make it difficult to register or appear at their polling place on Election Day,” said Secretary Merrill, in a prepared statement.  “Many states have already made these reforms and by taking these important steps forward we can include a younger generation of voters and expand participation in our democracy.”

The proposals will be introduced for the legislative session beginning on February 8th.

Lynne Charles January 17, 2012 at 02:54 PM
In addition to improving access to elections as Governor Malloy is doing, we must also diminish the role of money in elections. A first step would be to overturn the Citizens United ruling that allows corporations and unions alike to give unlimited amounts of money to campaigns. (Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Ted Deutch have proposed a constitutional amendment to do this.) Let's return to our constitution's promise of one person - one vote, not one dollar -one vote.
Van Robert Roxbrough January 17, 2012 at 04:27 PM
This proposed law needs to be worked on. I can't imagine any citizen, who, if he wanted to vote, wouldn't make it his business to register in his town hall, despite his work schedule. That's the resposibility of a citizen. We have motor voting now. Website registration with a drivers license background check could work. Election same day registration could lead to fraud. I'm opposed. There are no barriers to voting in this state now, if you have photo identification. Political parties try to encourage constituents to register, if they aren't. Absentee ballots are readily available . All it takes is effort to acquire one and mail it back. Madison has a great system. I suppose one of the states the Governor is referring to that's setting up voting barriers is South Carolina. That's simply not true. All registered voters in South Carolina have been mailed an identification card and Attorney General Holder in his suit is simply try to gin up votes for his party and reduce them from the other. November 2012 is not far off. Money is a form of free speech as excessively disgusting as the results sometimes get. This is all "do good" nanny state politics.
Lynne Charles January 17, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Mr. Roxbrough, In an election or campaign, why should money be considered free speech?
Van Robert Roxbrough January 17, 2012 at 04:51 PM
The lack of money in a political campaign limits the voices of expression for competing ideas whether in ads, registration transportation, or voting transportation to the polls.
Herb January 22, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Therefore if you haven't got money (or if you're not rich) you don't deserve to vote?? Or, those with (more) money deserve to be heard more clearly than those without.
tom burland January 22, 2012 at 07:32 PM
It is not a case of deserving to be heard more, the reality is those with money CAN be heard more. The reality is the minority of people spend the time to learn what the candidates think or what their true re IRS is, unfortunately if a candidate wants to be heard they have to blanket the media with their message, and that costs money

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